Rap Genius co-founder Mahbod Moghadam resigns over ‘gleeful and misogynistic’ comments on Elliot Rodger manifesto
Tech start-up chief said that some sections were ‘beautifully written’ – and that Rodger’s sister must have been ‘smokin hot’
A US tech start-up boss has been forced to resign after posting “gleeful and misogynistic” comments on the 141-page manifesto of the California mass-murderer Elliot Rodger, including speculating that “his sister is smokin hot”[sic].
Mahbod Moghadam, the co-founder of annotation service Rap Genius, wrote his own notes on Sunday after the site decided to upload the entire text of “My Twisted World: The Story of Elliot Rodger”, in which the 22-year-old laid out detailed plans for the massacre on Friday night.
Other users highlighted Moghadam’s posts as inappropriate after he responded to lines like “I can recall the first time I said the name on my lips” with the words “beautifully written”.
And he received particular criticism for one note which read: “Elliot barely mentions his sister Georgia throughout the book! Towards the end, however, he tells us that they did not get along and becomes extremely angry when he hears her having sex with her boyfriend. MY GUESS: his sister is smokin hot[sic].”
The annotations have since been removed, but Rap Genius CEO and co-founder Tom Lehman has issued a statement saying Moghadam has resigned after “compromising the Rap Genius mission”.
Lehman wrote: “Yesterday the Rap Genius community annotated Elliot Rodger’s manifesto on News Genius. Because this tragedy is still so raw, there was internal debate as to whether this document belonged on the site at all. Ultimately we decided that it was worthy of close reading – understanding the psychology of people who do horrible things can help us to better understand our society and ourselves.
“However, Mahbod Moghadam, one of my co-founders, annotated the piece with annotations that not only didn’t attempt to enhance anyone’s understanding of the text, but went beyond that into gleeful insensitivity and misogyny. All of which is contrary to everything we’re trying to accomplish at Rap Genius.”
Before he stood down, Moghadam told Gawker: “I was fascinated by the fact that a text was associated with such a heartbreaking crime, especially since Elliot is talking about my neighborhood growing up.
“I got carried away with making the annotations and making any comment about his sister was in horrible taste, thankfully the rap genius community edits out my poor judgement, I am very sorry for writing it.”
He later apologised on Twitter – but that was not enough to appease “Lehman, investors and others internally” who, according to reports on the tech news website Re/Code, “actually asked him to leave the company”.
Life & Style blogs
American Apparel makes 15-year-old YouTube star Brendan Jordan the face of its new campaign
Gill Pharaoh: Healthy nurse who killed herself in a Swiss clinic accused of doing it for 'publicity'
Porn block in India: hundreds of sexual websites banned, internet outraged
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
'Cool kids' can go on to become losers in later life, study finds
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Chris Leslie: Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm the poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor
Landlords renting properties to illegal immigrants to face up to five years in prison
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Labour leadership race: Jeremy Corbyn could be the next Prime Minister, says Ken Clarke
- 1 Malaysia issues arrest warrant for Gordon Brown’s sister-in-law after she publishes stories on leader Najib Razak's financial affairs
- 2 Porn block in India: hundreds of sexual websites banned, internet outraged
- 3 Natalia Molchanova: World's most successful free-diver missing and feared dead after disappearing in Mediterranean
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£350 p/d (Contract): Guru Careers: A Software Developer / Web Developer (PHP /...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment C...
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...